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Old April 29th, 2013, 05:52 AM   #1
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UK Wedding Video Market

Not directly related to the EA50, but just thought I would ask how people are finding the current UK wedding video market to be. I have so far done reasonably okay through the recession but have in the last 6 months seen a huge fall in the number of enquiries received. My average price is around 1200 so not expensive but not cheap either. What few enquiries I do get, all want discount and over the weekend I attended 2 fayres that had very few people there. When I speak to photographers, they tell me that of every 40 weddings they shoot, they might see a videographer only 5 times. I hear that the number of people getting married each year drops by 5% and it seems to me that the number of videographers willing to shoot weddings for 500 or LESS goes up by 10% or more every year. This makes for a discouraging equation and with the infamous 'shoot is yourself' and all their millions of 's all over google, is it any wonder that enquiries are down? How do others feel about the current and future state of the sector?
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Old April 29th, 2013, 07:04 AM   #2
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Re: UK Wedding Video Market

Hi James

OK, not really related to the UK but here it's pretty constant at around 30 weddings a season for me but probably the best advice to wedding videographers is "don't give up your day job" ... I make around 30% of my annual income with weddings so I don't rely on them at all ...the majority of my work is Real estate video and photography and in Perth there is probably 1500 +++ photographers and maybe less than a dozen videographers so that gives you an idea of where we stand on the bride's priority list ...someone said it was way down with the chair cover bows and suchlike which gives you an idea where our importance to the bride is. Then again I'm quite happy doing a couple of weddings a month ...I don't think I could take a Friday/Saturday/Sunday schedule every week. I find it nice evenly dividing my time between commercial, weddings and relaxing and yes, you can still make your gear pay for itself with commercial jobs and do weddings as and when they come along.

Bear in mind that Perth had 11,000 weddings in 2010 and I did maybe 30 so assuming my other, say, 11 competitors also did 30 that's only 360 videos shot out of 11,000 ... around 3% ????

Try to put your cameras to other uses when you don't have any weddings booked

Chris
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Old April 29th, 2013, 07:15 AM   #3
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Re: UK Wedding Video Market

Hi Chris,

I too have been pretty steady at 30 a year although I broke all records in 2010 with 42. This year, so far I have 17 booked and just 1 for 2014. 30 a year takes enough time without corporate work as well. I do quite a bit of theatre stuff but can't seem to crack the corporate market - they don't seem to want to spend the money and am struggling to know where to pitch myself. Out of curiosity, what is the going rate in Perth for a day's corporate shoot and then a 2 - 5 minute edit of an online promo?
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Old April 29th, 2013, 07:32 AM   #4
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Re: UK Wedding Video Market

Hi James - I have 40 booked in for this year and half a dozen already for next year - I charge a little less than you - I deliberately priced myself in the middle of the market - somewhere between the 'cheap-n-cheerful' and the 'cinematic' people - it's working for me as for the first time ever (been 5 years now) I've turned a few jobs down - I aim to deliver in 8-10 weeks and taking on more work would increase that time, which I have no desire to do.

A lot of togs say that they see fewer and fewer videographers at weddings but when I ask prospective clients 'what made you think about having your wedding videod?' they mention friends that have recently married and regret not having it filmed! I have a few booked in this year where they've got a family friend to take the photographs as they preferred to spend their money on a video.

I've attended a few wedding fayres and every time seem to get only 1 booking so I've given up on that - more trouble than it's worth - I think brides and brides' mums are just shopping for ideas.

75% of my business comes through my website and the rest through recommendations. You are right where you say corporates don't want to spend the money - when I was starting out, in order to get some stuff for my porfolio I filmed a wedding fashion show at the local Mercure hotel through a contact at a local wedding dress shop - all FOC and a 3 camera setup - they loved the result and put it on their website etc. They then came back the next year asking if I'd do it again - when I quoted them a price (my basic price which is aimed more at registry office type weddings) they declined!

I think the video is last on a bride's list, and hence first to go if running over budget, but the thing they regret not having done.

People underpricing is more of a worry for togs, as someone does not have to invest as much money on gear to set up a business (on the face of it) - a reasonable camera and speedlight and you could pass yourself off as a pro - not as easy with video taking into consideration multiple cameras, audio recording devices etc etc.

Having said that I know of a wedding recently where 2 guys travelled up from Norfolk to film a wedding using DSLRs in Yorkshire and charged 200 - barely covered their fuel!!!

Regarding 'Shoot it Yourself' weddings are concerned - what a nightmare to edit that must be!!! Also amateurs filming in churches without any comprehension of the protocols involved are giving us professionals a bad name! No wonder we get some vicars who are 'off' with us because of a previous bad experience with some idiot running around behind the alter trying to get a good shot!
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Old April 29th, 2013, 07:38 AM   #5
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Re: UK Wedding Video Market

How does one get in to making promotional videos for realtors ?? especially in the UK ?? I would love to do other media related work along side weddings to be honest. It may even enable me to quit my mundane day job as at the moment weddings for me are as & when I get bookings.
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Old April 29th, 2013, 07:52 AM   #6
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Re: UK Wedding Video Market

I must be in trouble, for me, it is my day job and has been since 2005. Most of my business comes from word of mouth, very little from the web. For wedding videos, I think I am on page 16 of google - I am useless at that stuff. Forty weddings Peter, that is impressive. I am not sure how easy it is for full timers and part timers to sit side by side, what other professions have this problem - please let me know if you can think of one. I actually think this is the main reason why wedding videography is not higher up the list. I am sure James' work is great, but for every good part timer, how many 200 merchants are out there. The industry will never get off the ground as long as this remains the case, (which it will as the poor old media students straight out of college simply can't find work - too many Spielbergs and not enough funding)
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Old April 29th, 2013, 08:10 AM   #7
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Re: UK Wedding Video Market

Get a good website James - Brides will def go straight to Google when looking - I've launched a second site to try and bring in more work so I can be a bit picky and spread it out over the year, instead of the scrum that is May to September

I got a wordpress site up for 300 (designed it myself though as I was a graphic designer in my former life) and 50/year hosting

You could get a site up for much less than you charge for one wedding - keep it well updated with a blog/facebook etc. I now prepare a minute highlight clip of just about each wedding for the week after it was shot - Google loves sites that are constantly updated.

Pete
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Old April 29th, 2013, 08:28 AM   #8
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Re: UK Wedding Video Market

Got a website Peter and blog when I can. I come up locally when searching for something like 'wedding videos leicester' but for 'wedding videos' I am non existent (or page 16 like I said). Any tips for a generic search like that?

Last edited by James Hollingsworth; April 29th, 2013 at 09:03 AM.
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Old April 29th, 2013, 08:52 AM   #9
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Re: UK Wedding Video Market

Well - you really want it optimised for the area you work in rather than be too general - get some text on your homepage that contains the names of your surrounding areas (maybe Loughborough/Melton Mowbray/Nuneaton etc) for your blog posts include the venue name and location (for example 'Recent wedding at Allerton Castle in Knaresborough, near Harrogate') but don't include a link to the venue unless it's reciprocated - I was advised that's bad for SEO.

I also use Google 'Blogger' and have a dedicated facebook page - also a You Tube and Vimeo channel - keeping them updated is the key
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Old April 29th, 2013, 09:31 AM   #10
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Re: UK Wedding Video Market

The majority of my income is from wedding video work and has been for many years. I do carry out some school and music shoots but they are only about 10% of the turnover.

I also film around 30 weddings per year and keep my price under 1000 as I see 1K as a psychological barrier to the client. After almost 28 years, 60% of my weddings are recommendation, with most of the others coming from wedding shows. I am very selective with shows and only exhibit at those that I know bring in lots of brides and are affordable for a one man business.

I totally agree that the percentage of weddings that have videos is extremely low, however the number of couples that regret not having one afterwards is quite high. For me, that is the main focus of my pitch at shows, to gently explain why I think video is so important. The vast majority of brides at shows are not interested in video because they see it as something technical that they don't understand and have no interest in. You have to appeal to the emotional side of the bride, reminding her how many of her older relations at the wedding may not be arround in a few years, and how it is a chance for their own children to see all the family together. I always emphasise how emotional the day can be and how the day will go so quickly that they will never take it all in. The video is the only way they will ever see their own wedding complete with sounds and emotion.

I would say that at least half of the non recommendation weddings that I film, are for couples who initially had no interest whatsoever. It's our job as videographers to raise interest and expectation in couples rather than waiting for them to come to us.

Roger
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Old April 29th, 2013, 06:32 PM   #11
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Re: UK Wedding Video Market

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Hollingsworth View Post
I come up locally when searching for something like 'wedding videos leicester' but for 'wedding videos' I am non existent (or page 16 like I said). Any tips for a generic search like that?
I"m getting a lot of traffic after each wedding when I place a 2-3 minute highlights online, most of these clips are password protected, my latest trailer (wedding from 2 weeks ago) got watched 300 times on the facebook page of the couple the first 3 days. I got my first request for a new wedding from a couple that saw that clip today, so that has been working well for me.

Another major client catcher is to make a short clip from footage from a wedding but with more emphasis on the venue, like below one, one of the first thing a couple looks for is a venue and when they look the clip might appear on the first page in google as well, I also send the clip to the venue and in this case they liked it and added it to their site and facebookpage. I don't charge any money for such a clip and place it on my blog, but it generates lots of traffic to my site and secures new bookings as well.

These 2 thing definetely provide me with the most new assignments every year. Then how you appear in google doesn't matter that much, it's the couple or the venues facebook pages that do all the "seo" work for you. Many times they link directly to teh video on your site which will have a positive impact on how your site scores in google.
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Old April 29th, 2013, 07:11 PM   #12
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Re: UK Wedding Video Market

I think the its really important to keep your image up to date aswell. It is good to look at your business from a clients point of view. Your website needs to stand out, not blend in. As a photographer we shoot around 40 weddings per year. In our area every second person you meet is a photographer. They buy a dslr and get a facebook page and away they go. We have to combat this by not competing with them but being different from them. Late last year we had a new website built which is "respnsive" so it looks different depeding on the screen you view it on. A lot of brides will search from there phones too so making your website appealing and easy to use on all devices is a must these days. our website is VIBE Photography - wedding photography - central coast - hunter valley - sydney - newcastle photographer

As a photographer I have noticed over the last 9 year that I have been shooting full time. I went from seeing a video once a month to just a few times a year. In our area, the video campanies didnt move with the times and really struggled to get any business. Now there are next to no one shooting video in our area. This is why around 2 years ago we added it to our package as an option. In Sydney (one hour away) there are a number of really great video guys and from what I can see are charging good amounts of money and getting lots of work.

I would say spending some money on your business by updating your website and making sure it ranks well would be a good investment. Also pricing is important. Too many people put caps on there prices like I read somewhere above about $1k wedding. If you can market yourself and provide a service and product soemone wants then pricing is not as big a factor as you may think. ( years ago our base package was $600 so I know what it was like to deal with that market) Our current photo packages are average around $6k and can sometimes with video and a few extra head up around $10k so there is still money out there. Our video is only $1600 or $2500 but its still worth it for us. When we get better we will increase this. By creating a name for ourselves and a personal approach we can charge alot more. By looking after clients and wedding realted business then word of mouth will really help too. Noa's idea above is great! While in the video market you dont have the same competition as the photography market you do have the problem of people not giving it a high enough priority. This is where your image and the way you market yourself counts. When I see clinets to talk about booking us for our photography I show them what we do with video. 99% say we dont want video before they come in but we are now booking around 20 videos a year from couple looking at our photos, so the market is still there and I know people who are 100% video are getting more work then they need.

Running a photography or video business is 10% the art and 90% business.
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Old April 30th, 2013, 12:14 AM   #13
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Re: UK Wedding Video Market

I think a moderator should move this thread to the Wedding / Events section.

I have another question that i'll throw in which is sort of related for the full timers in this business.

How long did it take to establish yourselves when you started off?

Well what i'm really asking is after how many wedding samples (if any) being placed on your website did you start seeing an increase in inquiries which led to bookings?

I understand certain members here have been doing it for years and years so have plenty of repeat customers all the way up to 60% of the business they generate is from recommendations - but what about others? or is that the ONLY way everyone establishes themselves ... over time ?
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Old April 30th, 2013, 02:00 AM   #14
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Re: UK Wedding Video Market

Quote:
how many wedding samples (if any) being placed on your website did you start seeing an increase in inquiries which led to bookings?
I gave 2 examples that lead to bookings and just placing a trailer on a website isn't one of them. You can't just place a trailer online and wait untill someone finds you when you start a business.
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Old April 30th, 2013, 03:19 AM   #15
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Re: UK Wedding Video Market

Hey James

When I started off I had one!! A friend's wedding that I did for free ... we all have to start somewhere.

I have 30 sample clips on my site but they are just clips of various bits of various weddings ..like a bridal prep, a civil ceremony, a church ceremony, and bits of some receptions. My thinking (which could be entirely wrong) is that I show the bride how I cover various aspects of a wedding and the fact that there are different people means I have experience and haven't just chosen my best clip in the last 10 years and used that!! I also like to show what I do exactly as it pans out, no special treatment just how the brides received it. That way might not be the prettiest but I never have a bride come to me saying "My wedding video is nothing like the samples I looked at" ... What they get is close to what they see in my samples.

The important thing on your site is to establish that (a) You are capable of shooting a wedding and (b) you have shot a bunch of weddings already so you do have experience with weddings

Chris
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